More than 20 bus passengers were kidnapped early Saturday morning while traveling along the Zabul-Kabul highway.
The hostages, from Zabul province, where reportedly taken off four different buses at a single point along the highway, said local officials.
Security forces and provincial officials have reportedly arrived at the scene and have cordoned off the area in a bid track the kidnappers and hostages.
According to TOLOnews journalist, Ahmad Wali Sarhadi, who was at the scene soon after the incident occurred, said the kidnapping happened between two police checkpoints – which were 3 km apart. In addition, security forces conduct 24 hour-a-day patrols along this highway.
An official source said the incident happened near Nawrak district about 35 kms from Qalat, the capital of Zabul.
Meanwhile the president’s office has vowed to track down the kidnappers and ascertain the details surrounding the incident. Police also said Saturday they have launched an investigation into the matter.
This latest incident took place a mere 24 km away from the point where Daesh militants kidnapped 31 bus passengers in February. Following the release of most hostages, the last five were freed a week ago.
However, this comes close on the heels of the Zabul Seven incident, which saw the beheading of seven other hostages early this month after being kidnapped by Daesh almost two months ago.
The seven victims, including three women, were also kidnapped while traveling between Zabul and Ghazni provinces. They were beheaded earlier this month allegedly by Daesh members.
The incident sparked a massive demonstration through the streets of Kabul two weeks ago. About 20,000 demonstrators carried their bodies through the streets of the capital, calling for justice and an end to the kidnappings.
No group has however claimed responsibility for Saturday’s incident.